The explosive offense that carried the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl was nowhere to be found in 2013. Injuries and personnel changes meant that this season's offense was very different to the previous year's version, but more changes are on the horizon this offseason.
Quite frankly, this current offensive roster just isn't good enough, and all the numbers support that notion.
|Points per Game||20.2||26th|
|Yards per Game||313.1||29th|
|Third-Down Conversion Percentage||37.0%||18th|
|Red-Zone TD Percentage||47.9%||30th|
|Turnovers per Game||1.7||19th|
The overhaul should start on the offensive line. The O-line production was, in a word, hideous. Offensive linemen couldn't finish blocks in the running game, and running backs had nowhere to go.
Ray Rice had the worst season of his career since his rookie year, and a Ravens rusher eclipsed 100 yards only once all season.
That inability to run the football was an enormous part of the offensive struggles in general as the offense lost any kind of balance.
Starting tackles Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher are both unrestricted free agents, and it's unlikely that both of them will be back in Baltimore. The priority will be reaching an extension with Monroe, who has been a bright spot for the O-line after coming to Baltimore in the middle of the year, and those talks are already happening:
Regardless, it's not guaranteed that the Ravens will be able to keep Monroe, and Oher probably won't be back given his tremendously disappointing season.
|How Michael Oher Stacks Up|
|Category||PFF Grade||Rank (out of 76 qualified tackles)|
|Pass Blocking Grade||-0.9||47th|
|Run Blocking Grade||-17.6||76th|
Additionally, the Ravens will have to take a long, hard look at center Gino Gradkowski to determine whether he is the starting center of the future. Gradkowski took over as the starter after Matt Birk's retirement, but he struggled in the role and finished as ProFootballFocus' lowest-rated center (subscription required).
Changes will definitely be made to the O-line, but there is plenty of room for improvement across the board.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith really stepped up as a No. 1 receiver, but the Ravens could really use another excellent receiving option. Undrafted rookie Marlon Brown has been a hidden gem, but it may be asking too much to expect him to step up as a legitimate No. 2 receiver next season.
Baltimore's receiving corps couldn't get any separation down the field and generally struggled to make contested catches. As a result, adding a stud receiver through the draft would serve the Ravens well and give Joe Flacco more options.
In addition, given the decrease in Rice's production (although to be fair, a lot of it should be attributed to the O-line) and the nagging injuries that plagued him for most of the season, the Ravens may want to consider adding a young running back late in the draft. Doing so would add some competition and cover their bases in case Rice's decline continues.
Lastly, tight end is a position in need of an upgrade. Keeping the services of Dennis Pitta is high on general manager Ozzie Newsome's offseason to-do list but adding more depth at the position would be helpful.
Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark are free agents, and neither of them had very good seasons. Procuring another receiving tight end or even one who is an elite blocker would be extremely beneficial for the offense.
With so many positions needing an upgrade, the 2014 Ravens are sure to look different to the disappointing 2013 model. That's definitely a good thing.